Nintendo Co.’s Fire Emblem Awakening for the Nintendo 3DS is a premier strategy title that weaves a politically charged story and in-depth battles with grace and efficiency for the 3D handheld.

Developed by Intelligent Systems, Fire Emblem Awakening chronicles the story of Chrom, prince of the Halidom of Ylisse and his Shepards (soldiers) as they battle against the increasingly unstable region of Plegia.

FIre Emblem AwakeningThe story is separated into chapters, with a map opening new areas after each completed mission. Players can head to the subsequent chapter, complete side missions, or head back to town to purchase or sell new items.

Gameplay takes place on a traditional grid with each party member holding a unique distance of travel, weaponry, and magic abilities. Users can attack, wait, and use items at each turn, or set units to automatically act in battle rather than command each unit manually.

Battles are efficient with the ability to speed up the attack sequences. In addition, users can choose between two different weapons prior to a strike in order to see which can do the most damage against a particular enemy.

Strategic options include placing two characters side-by-side on the grid to boost both member hit / avoid stats and option an assist attack by the neighboring player. In addition, users can use the Pair Up command to share a grid with another player to further increase dual strike and dual support functions.

Between battles, users can even enhance certain relationships by allowing characters to converse outside the battlefield. The relationships can subsequently strengthen pairing attacks and defense in battle between the characters.

More than 40 classes are available in the game with a variety of warrior, horseman, flying soldiers, attack and support magicians at the player’s disposal. Each battle will allow users to select a certain number of units, which must be carefully considered in each fight. The story automatically introduces new troops to the fold, however, some start out weak and can be immediately killed before testing out their future potential.

The graphics engine is solid with 16-bit type graphics in field, 3D rendered battles and traditional animation in story sequences. Short recorded audio clips and well-written dialogue help to add a layer of depth to each unique character.

The soundtrack is outstanding, with an epic orchestral score that sweeps in large-scale battles and quiets down in more subtle moments.

Fire Emblem Awakening is a must-have title for strategy fans. The title’s well-developed battle system, classic gameplay, new options, and likeable characters deliver a premium strategy experience that burns bright on the battlefield.

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